Kiwis announce squad for Sri Lanka Test series
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has announced 15-member squad for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka on Monday. Kane Williamson will lead the team from the front as usual and it is going to be one heck of a challenge for both teams.
The test squad contains four frontline spinners. Coming to the spin bowling, left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel and off-spinner Will Somerville have been recalled into the team.
“Playing three spinners is an option in Sri Lankan conditions and we believe this group provides the best variations and skill mix on offer,” New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said in an official statement.
“England were playing three spinners against Sri Lanka on their successful visit there last year and the slow bowlers also dominated the previous series against South Africa,” he added.
Patel and Somerville were last seen playing for their senior national team eight months ago in UAE against Pakistan.
New Zealand packs a good pace battery. Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, and Colin de Grandhomme are the fast-bowling options. BJ Watling will feature as a regular wicket-keeper. In case if he gets injured, the management has listed Tom Blundell as the wicket-keeping cover.
New Zealand won the cricket fans’ hearts for giving absolutely everything against England where they finished as the runners-up in the recently concluded ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019. They lost the final against England because the match result was decided on the basis of boundary countback rule as both regular 50-over action and super over ended up in a tie.
“It’s good timing for us after the World Cup. It was an incredible time for the team and the country, but we’re now excited to move forward as a group and sink our teeth into another opportunity,” Stead said added in a statement.
New Zealand are expected to play some good cricket against Sri Lanka with both teams taking on each other in two Test matches and three T20Is. But the New Zealand team management is yet to announce the T20I squad.
New Zealand’s 15-member team for upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka:
Kane Williamson (captain), Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, JEet Raval, Will Somerville, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper).
The first Test will be played on August 14-18 at Galle whereas the second Test will be played on August 22-26 in Colombo.
Following the Test series, the three T20Is will be played on August 31, September 2 and 6.